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Please find paper regarding speech delivered by People's March Editor at Inaugural conference of the committee for the release of Political Prisoners st New Delhi on 31st March and 1st April 2008.
Editor, People's March
P.Govindan kutty, Editor, People's March
Let them talk about law................ We will talk about justice.
You all know very well that I bring out People's March from Jun 2003 which is legal magazine Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers of Government of India and is permitted to post at concessional rates by the Postal Department. It was also put on our dedicated web www.peoplesmarch.com from Jun 2003. From the very beginning my residence was put under the vigilance scanner of the Government of India. The CBI, IB and Special Branch sleuths used to come to my residence regularly under the pretext of getting a copy of People's March.
In Jan 2006 my E Mail firstname.lastname@example.org stopped functioning. In May 2006 the service provider of our web M/s Spectrum Softech Solutions Pvt Ltd., Kochi blocked our web www.peoplesmarch.com on instructions from a confidential letter sent to them by the Ministry of Communications and Information technology, New Delhi that our web www.peoplesmarch.com is hosting anti-national contents, which is punishable under the law. I opened another E Mail email@example.com a webhttp//:peoplesmarch.googlepages.com & a blog http//:peoples¡¾march.blogspot.com immediately in May 2006. In May 2007 I filed a fresh declaration before the Addl. Dist.,Magistrate,Ernakulum with respect to change of printing press and price for English and Hindi versions of People's March. In Nov & Dec 2007 my E Mail firstname.lastname@example.org , my web http//: peoplesmarch.googlepages.com and my blog http//:peoples-march.blogspot.com were disabled, enabled, disabled and re enabled. On 17th Dec 2007 around noon, a person in civil dress visited my room and asked me to accompany him to The Asst. Commissioner of Police office. I refused to accompany him on the grounds that there is no warrant or any formal letter from the police Department. On 19th Dec 2007 around 2 PM the very same person with a name badge Sethu Raman IPS came with a posse of uniformed and plainclothes police men and raided my residence, ransacked everything and took away my computer, monitor, Key Board, Mouse, speakers, mobile phones and all old issues of People's March.
In protest against the illegal and arbitrary arrest I refused to take custodial food from 2 PM on 19th Dec 2007. I was asked to sign the seizure report around 6 PM on 20th Dec 2007. I refused to sign the seizure report on the grounds that the report does not contain the original certificate of Registration issued to the People's March by the Registrar of Newspapers of India. Only after including that certificate I signed the seizure report. I was produced before the Judicial First Class Magistrate, Aluva at his residence around 9 PM on 20th Dec 2007 and remanded to judicial custody at Aluva Sub-Jail. The charges against me were U/s 134, 124A, 153B of the Indian Penal Code and under the 1967 Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which has never been used against a journalist. As I refused to take custodial food, our friends visited me in Sub-Jail and requested me to break the hunger strike on health grounds. I did not oblige their request and continued not to take custodial food. I was shifted to Viyyur Central jail in Trichur on 29th Dec 2007 and with an order obtained from the Judicial First class magistrate, Aluva, the jail authorities shifted me to Medical College and with my hands and legs tied to the cot started injecting glucose and salt. This process continued as and when my BP and pulse falls down. On 8th Jan (21st day) a fact-finding team along with civil liberties activists visited me in jail and advised me to break my fast citing health grounds. I refused to oblige their request again and continued not to take custodial food. There were complaints like I am adamant from our colleagues. I signed and gave the vakalath to Advocate PA Pouran for moving my bail petition before the High Court. In jail, I could see news of Home Ministers threat that civil rights activists are Maoists and they will be dealt with severely. The Viyyur Police tried to arrest the fact-finding team and the civil liberties activists on 8th Jan 2008.
Trial by Media
On 9th Jan Com. MN Ravunni along with his fellow comrades met me in jail and told me that a lot of mischievous and malicious propaganda is spread by the police and the media is parroting the police version of the story that I killed my wife. Com MN Ravunni along with his comrades effectively countered the malicious and mispropaganda of the police in the media. It was on 18th Jan 2008 while at Medical College, Trichur I happened to see a positive article written by KM Roy about my struggle in Mangalam daily. Articles about my struggles were reported in Thejas too. And things started changing as newspapers like Kerala Kaumudi, Mathrubhumi, Madhyamam wrote positive editorials of my struggle. I was produced on 31st Jan 2008 in the open court at Aluva for the first time after my arrest. I shouted slogans "Maoists are not anti-nationals"." Maoists fight against injustice and exploitation". "Bourgeoisie Court be destroyed". "Long live revolution". In jail I could see the moves of the Government to hold courts through video trial obviously to counter the nuisance of slogan shouting in courts. Com MN Ravunni, Com Gro Vasu, NP Chekutty, PUCLs PA Pouran, CHRO and other activists undertook protest throughout Kerala and in front of the Kerala Secretariat which was positively reported in India Today and Tehelka weekly. By the end of first week of February the trial by media by the police was fully countered. Mathrubhumi weekly dated 3rd Feb 2008 gave the complete biography of my life citing how the Hydrabad police tortured my wife (who is very well alive in Secundrabad, A.P.) to give false evidence (false motive) against me to convict me to life imprisonment at Hydrabad in 1985. The other inmates of Viyyur jail got information that I had undergone 31 days fast with the support of CPI (ML) People's War and that 540 lifers who have completed 10 years of sentence including remission were released in 1995 in A.P. The lifers of Viyyur jail started realizing our political ideology and were very cooperative during my stay in Viyyur jail as there are more than 300 lifers in Kerala, who have completed more than 14 years of actual sentence and there are lifers of 83 years of age who have completed 16 years of actual sentence. Jail authorities too had some fear that by keeping me in jail will create further complications for their administration as I started motivating the lifers to struggle for their release. In Delhi Maheshwata Devi, Arundati Roy, Girish Karnad and Prashant Bhushan extended solidarity for my release. I was again produced in Judicial First Class Magistrate's Court, Aluva on 14th Feb 2008. I shouted slogans. As the prosecution contested that the investigation is not complete, the High court ordered the State to complete investigation within 15 days and finally on 22nd Feb 2008 the High Court granted bail. Advocates KS Madhusudan and Tushar Nirmal Sarathi argued my bail petition in the high Court. I was released from Viyyur jail on 24th Feb 2008 and on 28th Feb 2008 I found an order dated 14th Feb 2008 of the Dist., Collector who is also the Dist., Magistrate, pasted at Tripunithura stating that People's March is banned. So my struggle against illegal and arbitrary arrest ended on the 66th day of not taking custodial food on my release from Viyyur jail in Trichur, Kerala.
Regarding the charges against me which were contested by the prosecution for the grant of bail were that ..............
I wrote an editorial in December 2003 hailing the attack on Chandrababu Naidu saying Naidu was a democratically elected Chief Minister............. Narendra Modi too is a democratically elected Chief Minister. He is again and again getting elected as Chief Minister. His formula in democratic and secular India is to organize pogroms, kill thousands of Muslims and seek Hindu votes. Can we call this as democracy? Can a party at the centre whose leaders killed thousands of Sikhs in a similar fashion 1984 be able to prosecute Narendra Modi for similar crimes and put him behind bars? Naidu being an ally of NDA did not condemn Modi's pograms in 2002. Neither Naidu nor the NDA government framed a sedition charge against me for the editorial in People's March. Instead Naidu went on to seek fresh mandate from the people 10 month ahead of its schedule and wanted to create sympathy wave for the attack on his life with a referendum Naxalism V/s Development. NDA too followed suit by advancing the parliamentary elections 8 months ahead of its schedule. Both Naidu and NDA got a fitting reply from the people. The real truth ¡Ä¡Ä actual beneficiaries on the attack on Naidu were YS Rajasekhar Reddy and the UPA. Now after more than 4 years this editorial is levelled as sedition charge by a ministry headed by Marxist.
People's March hailed the Jehanabad jailbreak in 2004. ............ We read in papers daily about hundreds of murders and other crimes. Even if 5% of the cases reported in the press get punished we have to construct one Jehanabad jail every month. The thing is jails were constructed by the ruling classes only with the object of dealing with the political opponents and to silence their voice of dissent. Regarding others, the prisoners who are illiterate and were not able to hire a legal expert due to poor financial status, prisoners who have no political influence on prosecuting machinery, prisoners who were unable to threaten or bribe the witnesses. Only such people suffer jail terms. Abdul Nazar Madhani has to spend more than ten years in jail to be let off as innocent. To say clearly there are more criminals outside the jail roaming freely and doing worse crimes than those in jails. BMW murder case accused is in America. Where are the criminals convicted to life imprisonment in Purulia Arms Drop case? Vladimir Putin came and discussed with Vajpayee. Vajpayee asked Kalam to sign the papers and forwarded the same to Jyothi Basu and all the three were released from West Bengal jail. Tony Blair came and discussed with Vajpayee. Vajpayee asked Kalam to sign the papers for the release of British national and forwarded the same to Jyothi Basu and he was released from West Bengal jail. YSR after occupying CMs seat wanted to release his men from jail. This story of jails and the rulers is unending. When a magazine like People's March hailed the action of the people in getting their leaders freed from jails, it is called seditious and anti-national.
People's March hailed the Koraput Armoury raid. ...... People's March hailed daring attacks of the people's party on tyrant political leaders, on the police and para military forces........ People's March condemned the killings of people's leaders in various fake encounters. ......... People's March hailed the martyrdom of leaders of the party.
With all the above they charged me under sedition and anti-national activities. You all know very well that we love this country and the people more than anybody. Being communists we never wished to be called as nationalists. That doesn't mean that we are anti-national. People of this country know very well who are real nationalists and fake nationalists. In the year 1982, NT Rama Rao called the naxalites as (Desh Bhaktalu) Patriots and fooled the people of Andhra Pradesh to win the elections and became the Chief Minister of A.P. The ruling classes have made use of Communists from 1965 to share power. This is going on even now. The pity is that now the ruling communists too have started branding Maoists as anti¡¾nationals and prosecuting them under sedition charges.
Dear friends, as the gap between the rich and the poor widens, as the class struggle intensifies the ruling classes may adopt even worse repressive measures on freedom of expression and in whatever form we bring out the magazine it may be a bone of contention for the state. So our struggle must go on endlessly, fearlessly and with the new forms of repression we must have new forms of resistance.